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A Flower For Nicholas Battersby

by Chris Sorrenti

Lilies mark the spot where irony last stepped
it could have been L.A.
homeboys driving by, blowing flesh into memories
but this sidewalk runs Ottawa’s press
only for a week, then brushed aside
for fresh black roses from foreign gardens

A recent graduate, England cultivated
delivering his PhD to Bell Northern Research
convinced he was in the right place
now, just a red stain on cement
just kids having fun
a stray 22 calibre, such a tiny hole
inches higher or lower
and this flower may not have bloomed

© 1994

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Author's Note: Nicholas Battersby was a British national, living and working in Ottawa. In a classic case of 'in the right place at the wrong time,' he was gunned down in a random drive-by shooting. With an earlier posting of this poem at the now defunct Poesie.com, his parents (still in Britain) discovered it in a web search, emailed and thanked me for writing it.

Posted on 07/28/2016
Copyright © 2021 Chris Sorrenti

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